Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-five shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Prod. 2001 - Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (X)

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Seq. 6-A "Dwarfs at Tub Washing"
- Dwarfs by Bill Tytla with three Dopey-with-soap scenes by Fred Spencer. One scene of Snow White by Ham Luske.

Nearly four contiguous minutes of masterful animation by Bill Tytla, this sequence is one of the most repeated highlights of Snow White.

Scenes 20 to 24 have so much more power to them than the cut scenes animated by Fred Moore in the bedroom in sequence 5-A! Check out this posting on Michael Sporn's Splog for drawings and pencil test of the last part of scene 20!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Prod.2001- Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (IX)

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Seq. 5-B "Snow White Tells Dwarfs to Wash"
- Snow White by Ham Luske, Grim Natwick and Jack Campbell, dwarfs by Frank Thomas, Fred Spencer and Bill Tytla.

This sequence features a good amount of Frank Thomas' dwarfs, easing into Bill Tytla's, ready for the next sequence. Is the line "Don't forget behind the ears and under the beards" still in there? I do not remember it - and as I said, here I do not have the film at hand...

I have a point of order: though some sequences in this draft may not be FINAL, this actual draft was used in the "Morgue" which later merged into the ARL. I do have another copy, from the BG Morgue, and it is EXACTLY the same set of pages, but without the hand-written scribbles. I scanned the ones which were easiest to scan.

It seems that, though these pages may not be FINAL, they sort of were anyway. There may not be "real" FINAL pages for some sequences, seeing how much the studio scrambled to finish the film. They would not have produced FINAL pages "after the fact," after the film was finished. I again refer to my "standard disclaimer" that these were not historical documents but road maps to the responsible person while the film was in production. Thus, it is very possible (I am not saying it is true) that Fred Moore roughly posed out the dwarfs in this sequence and that Frank then used these to animate the scenes. We can not know this from this draft. It does not tell us who the directing animator was on this sequence. For that, we need to see the documents regarding these scenes including story meetings and casting sheets (if any), and the scenes themselves. Without these we are left with just the info in these drafts, which most often is precise in its crediting the person who did the actual drawings, but at times only shows who was left holding the ball when the sequence was finished in animation. This is something we need to keep in mind when we study these documents.

We are missing other info, like directors and layout info. Again, we need to make do with what we have unless we can get access to info that tells us otherwise. I do remember that in this period, the studio still did not really know what a sequence director's area was - for in the end the supervising director for the film would be Dave Hand, though we know that he did not direct single sequences. Maybe this explains the absence of the names in the director area. On the next film (Pinocchio) they figured this out - it is the most elaborate draft. (Though only the Fun and Fancy Free draft at times indicates directing animators.)

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prod.2001-Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs(VIII)

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Seq. 5-A "Bedroom"
- Snow White by Ham Luske, Grim Natwick and Jack Campbell, dwarfs by Frank Thomas and Fred Moore.

Most of the scenes with the dwarfs are animated by Freddie Moore, who is mostly known as Mickey Mouse specialist with the facility of making appealing drawings. The opening scenes were drawn by his old assistant Frank Thomas who later came into his own and, of course, is known as one of Walt Disney's Nine Old Men, and much missed by those of us who called him our friend.

If you watch the special features on the new release of Snow White on Blu-Ray, you will find the scenes of the argument between Doc and Grumpy that were cut from the film, from halfway through scene 35 until the end of this sequence. That this might have been done after the premiere one could deduce from the fact that this draft is of 11/16/37, a little more than a month until the premiere, and the scenes are still in the picture! The Blu-Ray has pencil test, however, so there may not be surviving color footage.

Looking at the "deleted footage", note especially how Fred Moore's fight in scene 38E compares to the later fight around the tub as animated by Bill Tytla! Whereas Tytla's fight is a beautifully choreographed dance with each frame a new pleasing composition, Moore's scene is just a mess of fighting dwarfs. This round goes to Tytla, and thus it is no big surprise the sequence was shortened...

Point of order: John V., one of my most avid commenters, has made me aware that he will post some of his own thoughts and discoveries pertaining the Snow White drafts posted here, so I advise all to check out his blog The DarmokTheGreen Experience.
Great, John, but I hope you will keep commenting here, as well!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Prod.2001-Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (VII)

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Seq. 4-D "Spooks"
- Seven animators for seven dwarfs: Bill Roberts, Dick Lundy, Bill Tytla, Bob Wickersham, Art Babbitt, Fred Moore and Fred Spencer. Snow White by Jack Campbell, birds by Eric Larson.

Most of the Snow White draft is of mid-October or mid-November 1937. The main exceptions are page 1, seq. 1-B, dated 1/5/37 and the soup sequence (6-B) of 2/4/37. This sequence is of 7/17/1937, thus relatively early...

[See this post for Bill Tytla's Action Analysis Class talk on forms-versus-forces relating specifically to this sequence!]

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Prod.2001- Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (VI)

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Seq. 4-A "Dwarfs at Mine"
- A lot of animators are credited on this sequence: Al Eugster, Eric Larson, Bill Roberts, Marvin Woodward, Les Clark, Art Babbitt, Fred Moore, Frank Thomas, Shamus Culhane, Bill Tytla and effects animator Andy Engman.
Seq. 4-B "Dwarfs March Home from the Mine"
- Starting scene 3 by Bill Tytla, then sc. 1,2 and 5 by Shamus Culhane.

Meanwhile, back in the cottage...
Seq. 4-C "Snow White Discovers Bedroom"
- With many scenes not attributed, we find scenes with our heroine by Ham Luske and Louie Schmitt.

(Aside: It sort of feels like everybody already must have all this info, for I do not notice any excitement about it. Oh, well - I just hope there will continue to come intelligent comments like the ones I received on the posting of the first pages! Heigh-Ho...)

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Prod.2001 - Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (V)

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Seq. 3-D "Snow White and Animals Clean House"
-Snow White by Grim Natwick and Jack Campbell, animals by Eric Larson, Jim Algar, Louie [Schmitt], Milt Kahl and Cornett Wood.

A wonderfully cheerful sequence with some of the "swingiest" music I know - a wonderful example of animation synchronized to music. It seems that the beat is free, which is especially interesting in this period of very rigid beats in the short films. Is anyone checking this with my Beatronome???

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Prod.2001- Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (IV)

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Seq. 3-C "Snow White Discovers Dwarfs' House"
- Snow White by Ham Luske, Jack Campbell (with Tony Rivera) and Grim Natwick, animals by Milt Kahl, Bernard Garbutt, Eric Larson, Jim Algar and effects animator Cy Young.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Prod.2001 - Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (III)

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Seq. 3-B "Snow White meets Animals"
- We again meet Jack Campbell and Tony Rivera (see the comment to yesterday's posting about them), as well as Ham Luske and Grim Natwick, animating Snow White. Animals by Jim Algar, Eric Larson, Milt Kahl, Bernard Garbutt. [Max] Gray's name appears again...

It is interesting to see how some information that normally would not appear on a draft is given, like the Double Exposure (DX) percentages for shadows. Also, where the Pinocchio draft just notes "MP," here is specifically written out "(Multiplane)." Obvously, scenes were added between 15B and 15C. But "15BBBBB"?

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prod. 2001 - Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (II)

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Seq. 3-A "Snow White & Huntsman - S.W. into Woods"
- First, Grim Natwick animated Snow White, Ham Luske the Huntsman, and the little bird by Eric Larson. Then Jack Campbell and Tony Rivera take Snow White into the woods...

NB: The numbers in the Director area indicate the number of the sequence if they were in numerical order instead of 3-A, 3-B etc.

[Addition: please note the comments! It is well-known that things were cut from the film even after the December 23rd, 1937 premiere, and the draft has info for the so-called "deleted scenes" like the dwarfs' bedroom fight and the soup sequence. I do not have the film here where I am, so I will rely on your comments to tell me where the draft differs from the actual film!]

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Prod. 2001 - Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (I)

It has been some time since my last posting. Since I currently am in Denmark where my feature drafts reside, I thought it would be time to look at Walt Disney's first, most personal and maybe greatest feature film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Now - this blog is called A. Film L.A., and I also intend to show highlights of 21 years of A. Film history in the next months, as I uncover them in our archives.

But first, here is the first installment of the draft to Snow White. The new Blue-Ray disc may have given new life to the film, but the producers have again missed the boat with the draft info, readily available to them, as they could have added this as a subtitle track throughout the film, for all to see and learn from. Now it seems that I have to do this, instead - again. Ok, here we go:

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Seq. 1-B "First Queen & Mirror Sequence"
- Woolie Reitherman's mirror and Art Babbitt's Queen
Seq. 2-A "S.W. & the Prince in the Garden" - Song: "I'm Wishing"
- Jack Campbell, Grim Natwick and one scene by Marc Davis (Snow White), Milt Kahl & Eric Larson (animals), Paul Busch (Reflections of Snow White)
Seq. 2-B "Queen Orders Snow White's Death"
- Art Babbitt (Queen) and [Max] Gray (Huntsman)

We can read in several sources about the usage of rotoscope in Snow White, and it seems to have been considered a "savior" by the folks in the production department. The usage on Snow White was pretty much as we used to work with Don Bluth on "Troll in Central Park," where we were supplied with (photo)stats, and then had to draw the characters on separate sheets in their proper proportions over those. On the other hand, the Prince was pretty much traced precisely, much like the Fleischers used to do. At its best, which was most often the case, it cannot be detected. Even with the rotoscope, Snow White is a beautiful film, and the sequences that came straight out of the animators' pencils rank among the highlights of the craft.

One of the things I would like to lay to rest in my postings in the idea that Grim Natwick was "pushed out" by Ham Luske in the draft. Grim is credited for about half the scenes with Snow White, and it is interesting to "Spot the Grim or the Ham," for where Ham drew a child, Grim drew a young woman. At the D23 expo, it was pointed out by one exhibitor that there is one scene where one can see Snow White evolve from Ham to Grim to Ham - or was it the other way around? Try and see for yourself!

The standard disclaimers are, of course, in effect. This means that a draft was NOT meant as a historic document. It was a go-to list, and if anyone needed to speak with the person responsible for a certain scene, this was the listing that named that person. It is possible that, when Grim left, the name on the scenes he worked on that were not finished at the time was changed to Ham, as I believe Culhane was exchanged for Norm Tate in the Pinocchio draft. Not out of spite or to gather credit, but to have a person to go to for an assistant, an inker or a painter with questions. drafts can also have mistakes, we know this. Also, not always is the Directing Animator credited. Example: Bambi on Ice, animated by Frank Thomas, has his name on only a few of the scenes, but he was responsible for the entire sequence. I hope this clears things up a bit...

More A. Film things very soon!
And remember, I really like comments, especially when they help illuminate things some of us may not have thought of!

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